Gold & Treasury Feeder System
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USTREASURY BONDS AS COMPETITOR FOR GOLD
Dogs and cats are mortal enemies in the animal world. In the insect world, ants and termites are mortal enemies. In the financial world, gold and USTreasury Bonds are mortal enemies. They compete for the revered role of safe haven for funds. In today’s day and age, with numerous storms, some unprecedented, safe haven is especially valuable. One of the most important jobs for the USFederal Reserve, JPMorgan (its agent), and the USCongress is to create the impression that USTreasurys are indeed not only safe, but beyond reproach and free from any hint of default potential. In recent months, with a failure of many important US-based financial engines, and sharp economic decline, made more complex by mammoth commitments from the USGovt on rescues and stimulus, the pristine image of USTreasurys has suffered from severe tarnish.
When dealing with the Chinese on her first mission to Asia as Secy State, Hillary Rodham Clinton made an unusual statement, when describing the USTreasurys held by Chinese creditors. “It is a safe investment. The United States has a well-deserved financial reputation.” The Chinese are increasingly uneasy. In my view the United States and Chinese are actively engaged in a trade war, not over products and manufacturing so much, but over purchase and management of US debt securities in general. The US does have a reputation with respect to its role of issuance and sale of USTreasurys. It has traded military security for Saudi Arabia in return for recycled purchase of USTBonds. It invested up to $30 billion inside China over a few years toward construction of factories in return for agreements for them to purchase both USTBonds and USAgency Mortgage Bonds. Many more deals have been cut. On more than a couple occasions, US Navy exercises were suddenly conducted off the South Korean and Taiwanese shores in response to their announced diversification out of USTBonds. For some reason, they changed their plans. Since 2007, when the mortgage debacle was exposed, it became clear that Wall Street exported well over $1000 billion in fraudulent asset backed bonds of various types. So Hillary is correct, the US has a deserved financial reputation, amplified with the mortgage controversy that has helped to cripple most foreign bank systems. They have noticed. They feel great pain, much given directly by Wall Street firms. To be sure, property bubbles in Spain and Eastern Europe have been ruptured, enough to damage banks from Spain to Germany, especially Switzerland.
If ever the USTreasury complex gives off gas and dissipates for a prolonged period, like a year or more time, the biggest beneficiary would be gold, and also silver. The USFed ensured the creation of a USTreasury bubble last autumn. Its Dollar Swap facility has been cited before. The peak was created at that time. The last few months have seen a reduction in the bubble. This is a good signal for gold. The US Federal Reserve repeated announcements of buying USTreasurys have come with unstated hidden messages, like they will buy them with printed money authorized by the USDept Treasury. This is not a statement that they will make openly in plain language. Today, the USFed announced the planned purchase of $300 billion in long-term USTBonds over the next six months. It is understand that the purchases will be pure monetization, as in unadulterated unmistakable monetary inflation. Clearly, the current USGovt policies, sure to increasing the money supply in a nightmarish endless parade of rescues, nationalizations, aid and stimulus packages, are intended to combat the USEconomic disintegration. Their success is hardly assured to produce an economic recovery, let alone vitality. Their impact on the gold price and undermine to the USDollar integrity are both very certain.
In my view, the best case scenario is for a bizarre flatline in economic growth next year, but with hyper-inflation taking root as a low level plague. Economic disruption would change in nature, from the hidden nature of price inflation, aggravated additionally by supply chain interruption. The profit margins for a variety of businesses, including gasoline refinery and chemical factories, have been badly harmed. And farm conditions have not even been cited, whose seed and fertilizer stresses have reached critical levels. Gold would respond very favorably, both to price inflation and disruptions.
CONTROL FROM BERMUDA TRIANGLE
The rally seen in USTreasury Bonds in recent months came at the expense of almost all other bonds. Spreads have worsened once again. Details can be seen in the March Hat Trick Letter posted last weekend. Progress had been seen in credit markets since December and especially since February. Bond sales remain available only to the strongest companies. Trained like sheep or guinea pigs, people flocked into USTreasury Bonds as perceived to offer safe haven or quality. They turned to the latest gigantic global bubble that offers no safety at all, believing that default is out of the question. USTreasurys as investment will offer steady losses next. Notice how the primary impetus behind the supposed USTBond rally was the mountain of purchases this past autumn by the USGovt and UKGovt, as seen in the Caribbean banks, where their fingerprints are often found without any mention in the press whatsoever. The US & UK illicit games conducted in Caribbean banks is given cover from hedge funds and Arab accounts, but not enough to hide what is really happening. In July 2008, the Caribbean bank center ledger item showed $117 billion is USTreasurys. By October 2008 the amount zoomed up to $204 billion. This is not Bermuda and Bahamas redeeming sea conch shells, molasses barrels, and salvaged marine vessels for USTreasury Bonds. These are games played by the syndicates running the central banks.
SO THE BIG CAPITAL OUTFLOWS, COUPLED BY HUGE CARIBBEAN PURCHASES, CLEARLY CONTRADICT THE DOLLAR RALLY IN JANUARY!!!
The bigger question is whether USTBonds were purchased with newly printed money. Clearly they were in my view. The motive was to create the impression of a flight to safety, to cause a rally in the USTreasury Bond complex. Additional air cover was provided by JPMorgan bond future purchases, many favorable stories in the US financial press, and Wall Street firm announcements. If the USTreasurys are so pristine and risk-free, then why did they recently hit 1.00% for Credit Default insurance protection cost? The 5-year USTNote bears roughly a 2% yield, but its default insurance cuts that effective yield to 1.0% only. A year ago the same default insurance cost a mere 1 basis point, as in 0.01 percent, one hundred times less. Maybe someday soon the shorter term USTreasurys will cost in default insurance more than their measly yield paid out. The world’s financial markets are realizing that USTreasurys are not so free of risk at all, and surely not a safe haven.
The Treasury International Capital report provides a visible snapshot of foreign investment changes, which include the scummy detail revealed in the Caribbean graphic. The data in the TIC report falls into four major categories: USTreasurys, USAgencys, US corporate bonds, and US stocks. On a net basis, the data was miserable in January at a net decline by $148.9 billion in net capital flows. The danger comes from outflows occurring at a time when foreign funds are even more urgently needed to cover USGovt debts, soon to be securitized into USTreasury Bonds, but now mere commitments. Last October the capital flow was net plus $273 billion, as clearly money flooded into USTreasurys the world over during the Wall Street meltdown. Anyone who believes an economic or bank recovery can come within a few months after a meltdown is either a moron of a USGovt employee, maybe both. The process is reversing. The chart below shows 12-month changes in rolling style in the billion$. Notice how the USTreasury holdings are indeed slowing their growth pace, but the USAgency Mortgage Bonds are in a state of near total abandonment. Their future is clouded since Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac conduct their acidic operations under the USGovt aegis (wing). The USAgencys are almost $100 billion lower in volume held than a year ago. No longer do foreign central banks consider them safe. Word has it that back in September when Fannie Mae was taken under USGovt control, foreign banks threatened a broad wave of mortgage bond sales. Instead of abandoning them suddenly, foreigners decided to sell them off piecemeal. This decision came after the USGovt guaranteed them, and bought the entire acid pit. In time, the Fannie & Freddie cost will rack much higher than $1 trillion.
Just last month, the Chinese sold off another $3.1 billion in USAgency Mortgage Bonds. My belief is that the Chinese, who have increased their USTBond holdings from $550 billion in July to $740 billion in January, are focusing attention away from mortgage holdings. They were down to below $300 billion in USAgencys a few months ago. China has embarked on a dual plan in my view. They wish to convert some mortgage bonds to actual property inside the United States, even commercial buildings. They have already begun to use USTBonds in large-scale deals with other nations on major projects for energy and metals production. In other words, they are spending now and hope to convert to property later. They are also doling out USTBonds to poor African nations in the form of aid and development grants.
Another danger signal is evident. China purchased $12.2 billion in USTreasurys in January, but 95% of them were short-term securities. That is not a sign of confidence. So as Eric deCarbonnel said, “Indeed, the real legacy of the crisis has been an enormous contraction in long-term flows, with a corresponding increase in the United States reliance on short-term financing. And also a shift away from risky assts. One striking fact is that foreign investors now consider Agencys to be a ‘risky’ asset.” His website is chock full of interesting bond related information (CLICK HERE).
ALL TREASURYS SPRUNG A LEAK
January clearly was the peak for the USTreasury bubble in general. Recall that a rising bond yield means a falling principal value. Starting in January of 2009, interest rates offered as yield have been rising slowly. It is early, but the lowest bond yields might have been seen. Just as it is easy to engineer a stock rally when Citigroup shares were at $1, it is easy to suffer a decline in USTreasurys when the bond yield is absurdly low, like near 0% for the short-term securities.
The usual channel in the investment cycle is for funds invested in bonds to move into stocks. My analytic conclusion is that the USEconomy is nowhere near a recovery phase, but some conmen roaming the Wall Street corridors can sell the concept after significant declines in the Dow and S&P indexes. When the next stock decline comes, and even lower lows are carved, once more the USTreasurys will be chased as safe haven. We will be much closer to the arrival of price inflation by that time. No longer can one say that the dominant flow of USGovt funds is only to Wall Street firms, AIG, and Fannie Mae. Big USGovt spending packages are being agreed upon. Whether efficiently assigned or not, massive money is soon to hit Main Street. The channel is soon to be interrupted. Money will not flow from bonds to stocks so easily. The destination of gold is being more widely perceived as wise. Gold competes well as a safe haven. Big bank deaths only amplify the benefits of owning gold. The threat of lost deposits is a curse without equal. The threat of withered corporate bonds behind banks is equally loathsome and unnerving to the most staid among investors.
Some respected analysts have begun to identify the USTreasurys as the biggest bubble in existence now. That seems obvious. A rising default insurance cost is a worrisome billboard to place next to the newest bubble on the US landscape. Gold is certain to be a beneficiary. WHEN THE USTREASURYS LOSE MORE VALUE, THE FEEDER SYSTEM INTO GOLD WILL BE SO CLEAR. Even if 10% or 20% of the USTreasury sales are directed into golden channels, the effect will be powerful. Watch the feeder system.
GOLD EXTREMELY STUBBORN
The gold price continues to find support at the 910 level, amidst the tumult of first the stock market bear rally, and now the USFed announcement. The 50-day moving average lies at 907, which once more has shown support. The 100-day MA lies at 880, which should provide some additional support, like it did today. Concern lies over the flirty move below the trendline established since November lows. On Wednesday March18, gold touched 883 in a big headfake full of flirt. After the news came of official USFed monetization of $300 billion in USTreasurys over the next six months, the gold price registered a $40 reversal. Also, silver registered a 60-cent reversal. Powerful forces will lift the gold & silver prices. Huge factors come from blatant monetary inflation in the form of USTBond purchase off a printing press of funds, from ruined currencies as foreign governments join the USGovt in fiscal emergency measures, and the old standby. Bank insolvency remains stubborn and in my view unresolvable and unfixable. When at least one major US bank falls victim to a clear death before summer, the rush into gold will be unmistakable. The window of low price is still with us.
Gold & silver responded immediately to the USFed monetization decision. This cannot be emphasized enough times, since it is an open admission of a direct policy to undermine the currency. GOLD ALWAYS BENEFITS FROM CURRENCY DEVALUATION VIA PRINTING PRESS, NO EXCEPTION. Precious metals are protection from currency debasement, debauchery, and dilution. Gold & silver do not rise in value so much as the currencies fall in value versus actual money, as determined by gold & silver. Gold & silver are not stupid. Neither is the US Constitution. Only central bankers and Congressional members are the fools, since they regard themselves as alchemists. They betray Economic Mother Nature, and earn her vicious wrath in destroyed economies. Gold & silver can be treated with abuse, even ordered to sit in the corner for time-outs, but they each are the dominant currencies. The next year will make this so clear.
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Jim Willie CB
Editor of the "HAT TRICK LETTER"
Hat Trick Letter
Jim Willie CB is a statistical analyst in marketing research and retail forecasting. He holds a PhD in Statistics. His career has stretched over 24 years. He aspires to thrive in the financial editor world, unencumbered by the limitations of economic credentials. Visit his free website to find articles from topflight authors at www.GoldenJackass.com . For personal questions about subscriptions, contact him at JimWillieCB@aol.com